The Local 913: Bikini Islands
I thought Bikini Islands got their name form a Japandroids song, but according to Kyle Wacker... "Actually, it’s from a Gang of Four song – "I Found That Essence Rare.” I covered it with a band I play in with my father in law and they turned me onto a lot of post punk stuff like Gang of Four. That one stuck with me because they’re like, ‘See the girl dressed in the bikini? She doesn’t think so, but she’s dressed for the H-bomb.’ I thought it was cool, like it has a double meaning."
Wacker, from the group Bikini Islands, says that, with his own songwriting, there’s not always a double meaning (or even a single one). "I don’t think it needs to mean anything directly," says Wacker. "I think that’s what’s cool about songs. People try to read into what every lyricist or writer is writing about and I don’t even think they have a direct answer for everything."
Wacker says his lyrics often come from seemingly random places – a Mac Miller video, an Ernest Hemmingway short story, or, in the case of "Psycho Killer" - his cat. "There’s kind of funny jokes in there. I call my cat a pet chinchilla because she’s a little furball," he says. "I just it was funny to think about a pet chinchilla eating bodies like the pigs in “Snatch” eating bodies."
Sonically, the band’s sound has grown over the years by doing less. According to Wacker, "The writing has become simplified in a way. There’s less parts per song now, where I would always try to ram as many chords or whatever into songs, it’s like taking a step back and looking at it. You’re not overthinking things as much anymore. You’re just trying to do what feels natural."